Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Monday the state will be funneling $50 million to various nonprofits and local governments to help people who are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage due to COVID-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Northam has taken measures to protect some homeowners from facing eviction because they were unable to pay their bills. Federally backed mortgages had grace periods attached to allow for late payments and Northam directed courts to pause eviction hearings. Local governments chipped in as well, eliminating late fees, cutoffs and credit card fees for paying utilities. As the state begins to recover, many of those programs are lifting but not everyone is out of the woods yet.
Virginia received funding from Congress via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and some of that money will be put in place to assist people who are still not back to work.
In a news release from Northam’s office Monday afternoon, he announced the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP) will distribute funds directly to nonprofits and local governments through the Department of Housing and Community Development. The nonprofits and local governments will then be responsible for doling out the funds to people who need help making ends meet.
Some restrictions apply for eligible applicants, including their cost of rent or mortgage — it must be at or below 150% of the fair market rate — and households must have a gross income of 80% or less of the area median income.
More information about the program can be found online at the RMRP website.
Monday’s announcement comes days before some of the restrictions placed on Virginians are due to be lifted. Phase Three of the governor’s plan to reopen goes into effect on Wednesday amid strengthening signs that Virginia is dealing with COVID-19 the best it can.
The Virginia Department of Health reported on Monday that it recorded 813 new cases and eight new deaths Sunday, bringing statewide totals to 62,189 cases, 6,164 hospitalizations and 1,740 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Total figures include 2,667 probable cases, 36 probable hospitalizations and 105 probable deaths.
Virginia’s positivity rate inched up to 5.9% over a seven-day average on Monday but testing figures appear to be remaining strong. The VDH has returned results on 633,705 tests since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported a handful of new cases — seven on Sunday — and one new hospitalization. The district’s largest spike in new cases came on May 28 when it reported 73 new cases in a single day.
The district reported it has had 1,965 cases, 172 hospitalizations and 66 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Total figures include 217 probable cases, one probable hospitalization and four probable deaths.
The district’s positivity rate continued to fall on Monday, dropping to 7% over a seven-day average. The district has returned results on 19,018 COVID-19 detection tests, the eighth most of the state’s 35 health districts.
Shenandoah County reported it has had 559 cases, 62 hospitalizations and 29 deaths.
Frederick County reported it has had 491 cases, 37 hospitalizations and five deaths.
Winchester City reported it has had 314 cases, 22 hospitalizations and three deaths.
Warren County reported it has had 285 cases, 19 hospitalizations and five deaths.
Page County reported it has had 267 cases, 28 hospitalizations and 24 deaths.
Clarke County reported it has had 49 cases, four hospitalizations and no deaths.